Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: Pho Bar in Central – contemporary Vietnamese beef noodles

Zucchini noodles, fried chicken, fries on the side – American owners have added some cosmopolitan touches, but it’s the beefy Vietnamese noodles that’ll have diners coming back for more

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2016, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2016, 12:00pm

Tucked away in a back alley in Central, a new Vietnamese beef noodle shop has racked up plenty of likes on Instagram, with some saying it’s “maybe the best pho in town”.

Pho Bar was opened by a pair of American-born Chinese brothers who frequently ate pho when growing up in the United Stats.

The restaurant offers four choices of topping, depending on how hungry you are. The best-value option is the supreme combo (HK$88), which has everything including beef shank, beef tail, brisket, beef tripe, beef fillet, beef balls and Vietnamese salami.

The broth has a strong beef flavour, as it is made from boiling beef bones (imported from the US) for 15 hours, and the flavour and texture of the meaty toppings is also enjoyable.

The cheaper options, which are topped with less beef, include the premium combo (HK$78) and medium rare filet mignon (HK$68).

You can also choose the type of noodle: Chinese flat rice noodles, Vietnamese thin rice noodles and Italian zucchini noodles. The condiments to add to the broth include mint, Thai basil, bean sprouts, spring onions, fresh coriander, onions and fried garlic.

For snacks, we like the deep-fried spring rolls (HK$28 for four), which are crisp and well filled with vegetables and pork.

We also like the Japanese-style “bomb-ass-karaage” (HK$38) – deep fried chicken pieces that go well with the housemade mentaiko sauce.

The restaurant is small and has bar seats that lets customers watch the chefs make the noodles in the open kitchen. Diners should arrive early at dinner time, as the noodles sell out fast.

Pho Bar, 24-28 Li Yuen Street West, Central, tel: 2109 2028. Open: Monday to Saturday 11am-9pm

Some other Vietnamese places we’ve written about recently

Restaurant review: Le Garcon Saigon, Wan Chai – Vietnamese cuisine worth the wait

Restaurant review: Com Bánh Mì, Wan Chai - Vietnamese with a twist

Restaurant review: Bun Cha Vietnamese, Central - filling and good value

Restaurant review: Brass Spoon in Wan Chai is one busy Vietnamese eatery